The Truth About First Quarter S&P 500 Earnings [Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute]

truthTyler Durden: The last time we looked at real, GAAP, not “pro-forma” non-GAAP EPS, in November of last year, when the S&P 500 was just over 1800, we found that on an LTM GAAP basis, the market was trading at a whopping 19x P/E LTM – a number which all but the most dyed-in-the-wool permabulls such as Janet Yellen, would call significantly overvalued (and which even JPM reported was higher than 89% of all P/E prints in the history of the market).

 

What happened next was remarkable: following a uniform change to pension accounting, which helped “revise” US GDP by $500 billion higher, said revision also flowed through to reported corporate earnings, not just non-GAAP EPS but also GAAP, and EPS for the S&P500 were revised retroactively higher virtually uniformly by about $1.5 per quarter. This revision is shown on the chart below.

This is notable because it means that LTM GAAP EPS for the S&P500 were pushed higher from roughly $100 to $106 as of March 31.

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